Effective SEO Proposal Guide (Examples & Templates)

Learn how to create SEO proposals to stand out and win business. Discover the best SEO proposal format, structure, and get editable SEO proposal examples.

How to create a SEO proposal

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Short answer

What is a SEO proposal?

An SEO proposal is a strategic plan presented by SEO experts to potential clients, detailing actions to enhance their website's search engine performance, visibility, and organic traffic, along with expected outcomes and costs.

SEO proposals that don't stand out risk falling behind

When an SEO RFP drops, you're up against dozens of agencies, all hungry for the same opportunity.

And with everyone claiming they can boost rankings and drive traffic, how do you ensure your proposal cuts through the noise?

In this post, I’ll teach you how to create an irresistible SEO proposal by moving away from boring, static decks and embracing interactivity.

Let’s get started!

What should a SEO proposal include?

  1. Executive summary: A concise overview that captures the essence of the proposal, highlighting how your services align with the client's needs.

  2. Understanding of client's business and goals: Demonstrates a deep understanding of the client's business, industry, and specific SEO objectives, showing that your strategies are tailored to their unique situation.

  3. SEO audit and analysis: An initial assessment of the client's current SEO performance, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.

  4. Keyword research and strategy: Detailed analysis of relevant keywords and phrases that the client should target, based on search volume, competition, and relevance to the business.

  5. Competitor analysis: Insight into the client's competitive landscape, offering a comparison of their SEO standing against key competitors.

  6. Technical SEO assessment: Evaluation of the client's website from a technical SEO perspective, identifying issues that could be hindering search engine visibility.

  7. On-page and off-page SEO strategy: A comprehensive plan detailing both on-page optimizations (like content and meta tags) and off-page tactics (such as link building) to improve rankings.

  8. Content strategy: Outline of a content plan that supports SEO goals, including topics, formats, and publication frequency.

  9. Social media integration: Recommendations for leveraging social media to support SEO efforts, enhancing visibility and engagement.

  10. Measurement and reporting: Description of the metrics and KPIs that will be used to measure success, along with the frequency and format of reports the client can expect.

  11. Timeline and milestones: A projected timeline for the SEO campaign, highlighting key milestones and deliverables to track progress.

  12. Pricing and payment terms: Clear, transparent breakdown of costs associated with the proposed SEO services, including any options or packages.

  13. Case studies or success stories: Examples of past successes with other clients, providing tangible evidence of your agency's ability to deliver results.

  14. Next steps and call to action: A clear outline of the next steps the client should take to proceed with the proposal, encouraging them to take action.

Interactive SEO proposal templates

Creating an SEO proposal from scratch can feel like a real challenge.

You know your destination – winning over that potential client – but plotting the course to get there, with all the twists and turns of strategy, analytics, and persuasive storytelling, can get overwhelming.

Interactive SEO proposal templates are designed not just with the structure in mind but with the journey – ensuring that every turn reveals something valuable and every stop engages your audience further.

By incorporating elements like clickable tabs, embedded videos, and dynamic charts, they transform your proposal into an experience, one that potential clients are more likely to remember, share, and, most importantly, act on.

Just grab one and see for yourself.

No templates found

How to write an SEO proposal?

Creating an SEO proposal is essentially about laying the groundwork for a successful partnership between your agency and a potential client.

It's your opportunity to demonstrate not just your expertise in SEO, but also your understanding of their business, industry, and specific challenges they face.

Here's how to write an SEO proposal that resonates with clients and sets the stage for a fruitful collaboration.

1) Executive summary

The executive summary is your first impression, and it needs to be strong. Begin by summarizing the value your SEO services will bring to the client's business. Highlight your unique approach and how it aligns with their specific needs and goals.

This section should be compelling, drawing the client in and making them eager to learn more about how you can help them succeed.

Use clear, concise language to outline the benefits of partnering with your agency, and make sure to touch on your track record of success with similar businesses.

Example of an executive summary slide:

Executive summary slide example

2) Understanding the client’s business

This section is where you show the depth of your research and understanding of the client's business.

Go beyond surface-level details to discuss the client's market position, key competitors, target audience, and previous SEO efforts.

Highlight how your understanding of these elements will inform your SEO strategy.

For example, if the client is a local business aiming to increase foot traffic, detail how local SEO tactics will be prioritized.

3) SEO audit and analysis

Next up, present a comprehensive audit of the client's current SEO performance.

This should include an analysis of their website's structure, content, backlink profile, and keyword rankings. Understand what their ICP (ideal customer persona) is.

If you're doing an eCommerce SEO audit, for example, their ICP may extend to a wider audience. Identify both strengths and areas for improvement.

Use visuals like charts or graphs to illustrate your findings, making the data easy to understand at a glance.

For instance, a graph showing keyword rankings over time can visually demonstrate the need for improved keyword optimization strategies.

Here’s a great video on how to perform a SEO audit:

How to perform a SEO audit

4) Keyword strategy and analysis

Developing a robust keyword strategy is central to any SEO campaign.

This involves not just identifying relevant keywords but also understanding the client's audience and how they search for the client's products or services.

Discuss the process of selecting keywords, emphasizing the importance of targeting both high-volume keywords and long-tail phrases that can drive more qualified traffic.

Provide examples of how you've successfully implemented keyword strategies for other clients, including the impact on their traffic and conversions.

5) Competitive analysis

A thorough competitive analysis helps you understand the SEO landscape in which the client operates.

Identify the client's main competitors and analyze their SEO strategies, including their strengths and weaknesses.

Use this information to highlight opportunities for the client to differentiate themselves and improve their own SEO performance.

For example, if competitors are focusing heavily on certain keywords but neglecting others, those could be areas for the client to target.

Independent SEO consultant, Christina LeVasseur, suggests preparing the following exercise for your clients:

Show them a screenshot of the SERP for a relevant keyword, but cover the company name and website URL. Ask your client which listing they would click on.

Did they pick their own listing, or a competitor's? Ask them to justify their choice to prove your point.

Here's what it could look like:

SEO exercise example

6) Technical SEO assessment

Evaluate the client's website from a technical SEO perspective.

Discuss common issues like slow page load times, mobile unfriendliness, or improper use of tags that could be impacting their SEO performance.

Offer specific recommendations for addressing these issues, and explain how these changes can improve the client's overall SEO performance.

In this part, you can include yet another exercise suggested by Christina LeVasseur.

Show your prospect a screenshot from their website, but blur everything except for internal links on the page.

Ask if they can guess what page they link to based on anchor text alone.

This is where you can highlight the importance of internal linking and set the stage for presenting your strategy.

Here's what it can look like:

SEO internal linking exercise

7) On-page and off-page SEO strategy

Detail your plans for both on-page and off-page SEO.

For on-page SEO, discuss how you'll optimize website content, structure, and meta tags to improve relevance and user experience.

For off-page SEO, explain strategies for building a healthy backlink profile and improving domain authority.

Use examples to illustrate how these tactics have worked in the past, such as a case study where targeted link-building efforts led to a significant increase in domain authority.

8) Content strategy

Develop a content strategy that supports the SEO goals.

This should include recommendations for blog posts, landing pages, and other types of content that will attract and engage the client's target audience.

Discuss how this content will be optimized for search engines and users, and provide an example content calendar that shows how different pieces of content will target specific keywords and user queries over time.

For more information, check out this video on how to build a SEO content strategy:

How to prepare a SEO content marketing strategy

9) Social media integration

Recommend ways to leverage social media to enhance the SEO strategy.

This could involve using social media to promote content, engage with the target audience, and build brand awareness.

Highlight the SEO benefits of a strong social media presence, such as increased traffic and backlinks.

10) Measurement and reporting

Transparency in measurement and reporting is key to a successful SEO partnership.

Detail the metrics and KPIs you'll use to track the success of the SEO campaign, including organic traffic, keyword rankings, and conversion rates.

Discuss the reporting process, including how often the client can expect to receive reports and the format these reports will take.

Emphasize the importance of using data to continually refine and improve the SEO strategy.

11) Timeline and milestones

Provide a realistic timeline for the SEO campaign, outlining major milestones and when the client can expect to see results.

Emphasize that SEO is a long-term strategy, with initial improvements becoming more significant over time.

This helps manage the client's expectations and builds trust in the process.

Example of a timeline slide:

SEO proposal timeline slide

12) Pricing and payment terms

Clearly outline the costs associated with your SEO services.

Break down the pricing structure, whether it's a monthly retainer, project-based, or performance-based fees.

Ensure the client understands what's included in the price and any additional costs that may arise.

Example of an effective pricing slide:

SEO proposal pricing slide

13) Success stories

Incorporate case studies or testimonials from past clients to demonstrate your agency's track record of success.

These should highlight specific challenges you've overcome and the results you've achieved, building credibility and helping the client envision what you can accomplish for them.

Example of a testimonials slide:

SEO proposal testimonials slide

14) Next steps and call to action

Conclude with a clear call to action, outlining the next steps the client should take to proceed with the proposal.

Whether it's scheduling a follow-up meeting, signing a contract, or providing additional information, make it easy for them to take the next step in partnering with your agency.

Example of a next steps slide:

Accept button example

Best SEO proposal examples that sell your expertise

Great SEO proposals do more than list services and prices. They win clients by understanding their needs, presenting a clear plan for their goals, and showing off past successes in an engaging way.

Next, we'll look at some top-notch SEO proposal examples and break down why they work so well.

SEO project proposal

I absolutely loved how this SEO project proposal seamlessly guides you through each phase, from the initial audit to the detailed strategy and timeline.

It really felt like every slide was crafted just for the viewer, especially with those smart dynamic variables like {{company}} and {{first_name}} that personalize the experience.

SEO campaign proposal

This proposal takes it up a notch with its clever use of design elements that draw your attention right where it needs to be.

The option to include an interactive ROI calculator is a brilliant touch, allowing clients to see the potential value of the campaign directly. Plus, the responsive design ensures it looks good on any device, which is a huge plus.

SEO strategy proposal

I was really taken by this SEO strategy proposal’s blend of strategic depth and user-friendly design.

The clean, uncluttered layout makes it so easy to focus on the essential content, and the analytics panel is a smart addition that I think any agency would appreciate for tailoring future pitches.

SEO quotation

I really liked how the SEO quotation was laid out. It's not just a simple list of services and prices; it guides you through what the agency offers and shows they really tailor their solutions to your needs.

What's smart about the pricing slide is how it uses expandable text sections. You can click to get more details on each item without making the page too busy.

This makes it super easy to understand the costs involved, helping clients make clear decisions.

SEO proposal for client

This SEO proposal impressed me with its visual and interactive approach. The data visualization and interactive elements are fantastic for conveying complex information in an engaging way.

I particularly liked how easy it was to navigate through different success stories, thanks to the tabs organizing the case studies.

Proposal for SEO services

What I found great about this proposal was how it manages to be both detailed and engaging. The competitors' slide that allows for a visual comparison with the client’s direct competitors was a highlight.

It’s visually striking and informative, which I think adds a lot of value for clients looking to understand their position in the market.

What is the purpose of a SEO proposal?

An SEO proposal is your roadmap for how you plan to boost a client's visibility online and help them reach their marketing goals.

It combines careful analysis with a clear strategy, all while showcasing your agency's expertise in outsourced SEO.

Here's why a strong SEO proposal is important:

  1. Clarifying objectives: It pinpoints the client's SEO goals, whether it's boosting organic traffic, improving keyword rankings, or enhancing online visibility. Understanding these objectives is crucial for tailoring a strategy that hits the mark.

  2. Detailing strategy and tactics: The proposal outlines the specific strategies and tactics to be employed, from on-page optimizations to content marketing and link building. This clarity helps set expectations and demonstrates your methodical approach to tackling SEO challenges.

  3. Establishing benchmarks for success: It sets clear, measurable benchmarks for what success looks like. Whether it's achieving a certain rank for key keywords or reaching a traffic milestone, these benchmarks provide a way to assess progress and effectiveness.

  4. Defining scope of work: It details the scope of work, including the tasks to be undertaken, timelines, and deliverables. This helps prevent scope creep and ensures both parties are aligned on what's included (and what's not) in the SEO campaign.

  5. Facilitating transparency and trust: By laying out your approach, expected outcomes, and pricing, the proposal builds transparency, fostering trust between you and the client. This is foundational for a successful, long-term partnership.

  6. Highlighting your expertise and value: It's an opportunity to showcase your knowledge, experience, and the unique value you bring to the table. A well-crafted proposal can differentiate you from competitors and convince potential clients that you're the right choice for their SEO needs.

  7. Opening opportunities for upselling or cross-selling services: An insightful proposal can also illuminate additional areas where your client might benefit from further support, such as social media optimization, PPC campaigns, or content marketing.

  8. Setting the stage for measurement and accountability: Finally, it establishes a framework for measuring results and holding both parties accountable. This includes how progress will be tracked, reported, and evaluated, ensuring a focus on achieving tangible outcomes.

How to measure the effectiveness of your SEO proposal?

When it comes to measuring the success of your SEO proposal, it's not just about tallying up views or counting the number of times it's been shared.

It's about pinpointing what captures people's interest, what motivates them, and what stays with them long after they've closed the presentation.

Every SEO proposal crafted with tools like Storydoc is equipped with an analytics panel, offering you a window into real-time interactions with your content.

This feature is invaluable for understanding the impact of your proposal:

  1. Engagement with key points: The analytics can show you if viewers are spending time on the slides that matter most. Are they pausing on the pages where you detail your strategy or showcase your success stories? This insight helps you understand if your key messages are hitting the mark.

  2. Sharing and distribution: Knowing who your viewers are sharing your presentation with gives you an idea of its reach and relevance. If your proposal is being passed along within a company, it's a good sign that you've sparked interest and discussion.

  3. Taking action: Perhaps the most critical insight is whether viewers are compelled to take the next step. Are they clicking through to your website, exploring your portfolio, or reaching out to schedule a meeting? Actions like these indicate that your proposal is not just seen but is also inspiring the desired response.

Here’s a short video explaining how it works:

Storydoc analytics panel

What is the best SEO proposal format?

In the past, SEO proposals were often sent as static documents, like PDFs or PowerPoint presentations. These were packed with text and sent off in the hope they'd cover everything a client might need to know.

But as we've moved further into the digital age, it's become clear that this approach just doesn't cut it anymore. Why? Because SEO itself is dynamic and constantly evolving, and your proposal needs to reflect that energy and flexibility.

Today, interactive documents are the way to go for several key reasons:

  1. First off, they're way more engaging. Imagine a client being able to click through to see examples of your past work or interactive graphs showing potential growth. It turns the proposal from a static document into an interactive experience.

  2. Then there's the clarity that comes with visualization. SEO can be complex and full of jargon, but interactive elements like charts and videos can make it easier to understand. Plus, you can update interactive documents in real-time to reflect the latest data or strategies, ensuring your proposal is always relevant.

  3. Personalization is another huge advantage. With interactive proposals, you can tailor the content specifically to each client's needs, making them feel understood and valued. And if you want to get immediate feedback or even a sign-off, you can include forms or surveys right in the document.

  4. Accessibility is also a key factor. Clients can access your interactive proposal from anywhere, on any device, making it super convenient for them to review and respond to your pitch.

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular formats:

Format Pros Cons
PDF - Great for content-heavy documents
- Easy to access and print
- Missing interactive features, less engaging
- Hard to customize once completed
PPT - Combines text and visuals well
- Commonly used for creation and presentation
- Interactivity is limited
- Can look generic without extra effort
Word - Ideal for joint writing efforts and simple layouts
- Easy to edit text
- Difficult to add complex visuals or multimedia
- Might not look as polished
Storydoc - Perfect for narrative-driven content with visuals
- Interactive elements like buttons and calendars prompt engagement
- New users may face a learning curve
- Interactivity doesn't translate to print
Dominika Krukowska

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

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